With the blessings of God Almighty, The Australian Malayalee Islamic Association (AMIA) NSW, hosted the first communal Ramadan Iftar Program on Sunday, June 12, 2016 in the Auburn Centre for Community, Auburn NSW. Over 250 people, including multi faith and community leaders, representation from the state ministry, NSW Police Force, Consulate general of India andmedia personalities gathered in Auburn to share, learn and celebrate the diversity of our community.
The holy month of Ramadan (fasting) began on Monday, June 6. During the month, Muslims across the world fast from dawn to sunset. At the end of each day, when the fast is broken, Muslims frequently celebrate with family and friends over a meal followed by prayers extending into the night till dawn.
The Iftar dinner was a chance for the many Muslim families from the Malayalee community (from the southern state of Kerala in India) and various other communities to come together to celebrate Ramadan. The highlights of the program were the Islamic talks delivered by the key speakers Br. Rizwan Ahmed and Br.Mehmet Ozalp. Br. Rizwan, Imam from North Sydney mosque in his speech titled “The First Advice” spoke about the importance of being part of the society for the Muslim community in Australia. Br. Mehmet Ozalp, the founder of ISRA, talked on the topic “A Muslim isn’t just for Ramadan”. The event was attended bythe Shadow Minister for Communications Mr. Jason Clare MP, Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli, Senior Constable James Dickson and Multi-Cultural Liaison Officer Rachna Malik from the NSW Police force, Deputy Consul General from the Consulate General of India Dr. Vinod Bahade, Rev,Fr, Thomas Kurunthanam, Priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Mr. VishVishwanathan, Hindu community leader, Mr. John Kennedy President, United Indian Associations, Mr. Babu Varghese, President Sydney Malayalee Association, Mr. DeejuSivadas , Executive producer of Malayalam program, SBS Radio, Mr. Thomas Kuruvila, Chief Editor Malayalee Pathram.
The AMIA Iftar Program commenced at 3pm with a Quirat (Recitation) from the Holy Quran followed by a short 2015-2016 AMIA financial report presentation by Br. Mohsin Aboobaker. The Iftar Program was officially inaugurated by Dr.Quasim Chelat. Br. Mohammed Ali welcomed the gathering.Br. Abbas Chelat talked about the history of Malaylee Muslims in Sydney. AMIA President Dr. Ali Parappil addressed the gathering. This was followed by short stretches of talk from the guests. The guest address continued into the evening after the Iftar and the Maghreb prayer with a beautiful nasheed presented by kids. Br. Faizal Kakkat presented a brief update on the AMIA Upcoming events in 2016. Sister Afshan Koya conveyed the Ramadan message to the guests and the gathering followed by Vote of Thanks by Sister Roufa Sajeev, Vice-President of AMIA NSW. Br. Hashim Mohammed in the role of the Master of Ceremonies hosted the event throughout the evening entertaining and managing the event. AMIA volunteers had their input into making this event a great success. Br. Nizar Moideen and his team were in the forefront of food arrangements for the evening. Br. Shaheer Kaithal and his team managed the guests.
“This Iftar evening basically is to create an awareness among the other communities about what Ramadan is and such get-togethers will help to integrate with the other Indian communities and the local communities here in Australia” AMIA President Dr. Parappil pointed out. He also thanked the community for being a part of the event and to the hard work of the volunteers.
AMIA NSW also organised the day long Kids and Youth Fest 2016 on 30th April 2016 which consisted of many indoor and outdoor activities for kids and youth alike. Inspector Emma Watson from the Flemington Local command, NSW Police Force, distributed the prizes to the winners.AMIA NSW will be organising Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid Al Adha celebrations on the 9th of July and 22nd of October 2016 respectively in the Auburn Centre for Community for the families. AMIA NSW will also be conducting a family camp as part of its yearly family event from 28 to 30th October 2016. For new updates please visit www.amiansw.com.au or amiansw facebook page.